Study warns fish lovers of multiple chemicals

Capital News Service
LANSING — A new study questions whether public health advice on eating Great Lakes fish is restrictive enough. Ken Drouillard, a professor at the University of Windsor, looked at whether the Great Lakes region recommends sufficient restrictions on monthly meals of sport fish. The results are in, and while they say no, they weren’t as restrictive as Drouillard expected. Consumption advisories are used to limit human exposure to harmful substances that fish may contain. Drouillard found that 60 percent of advisories would provide more restrictive advice under a method that takes into account multiple chemicals in a fish.

Commercial fishing decline hits economies, communities

Capital News Service
LANSING – As the number of active state-licensed commercial fishing operations dwindles on the Great Lakes, their downward spiral signals a change in culture as well as economics and environment, according to Laurie Sommers, a folklorist and historic preservation consultant. “A few commercial fishermen still make a good living, but Great Lakes ecosystems are in crisis,” said Sommers, the author of a new book about the Leelanau Peninsula area known as Fishtown. “The fish are disappearing, and with them the commercial fishermen,” she wrote in “Fishtown: Leland, Michigan’s Historic Fishery” (Arbutus Press, $19.95). Lake Michigan, for example, has only seven state-licensed operations left. Among the reasons: “Biologists point to a combination of factors affecting the fish population: habitat, infectious diseases, pollution, global warming and changes in the food web due to invasive species.”

Michigan set a cap of 50 state-issued commercial fishing licenses for the Great Lakes, although only 35 of them are actively used, supporting about 22-23 businesses, said Tom Goniea, a commercial fisheries biologist at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).